Sims fastest again on wet-dry final Formula E test day

Alexander Sims made it a clean sweep for BMW i Andretti by topping a heavily interrupted, wet-dry final day of Formula E pre-season testing in Valencia.

Overnight rain meant the track was soaked for the morning session, with all bar two drivers setting their best times in the drier afternoon session.

Sims went to the top with a handful of minutes of minutes of the session remaining as the teams put in some performance runs at the maximum power of 250kW. He did a 1:17.402, meaning team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa’s time of Wednesday remains the fastest of the week.

Reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne was second by 0.2 seconds, with a further 0.2 seconds to Mitch Evans’ Jaguar in third.

Six red flags were brought out by incidents throughout the day, with only one being seen in the prior two days of the test. The first was brought out by Daniel Abt’s Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler having spun at Turn 5 in the damp conditions.

It proved to be a corner that would catch drivers out as Oliver Rowland, standing in at Nissan e.dams, also ran through the gravel there. Rowland completed 85 laps in a bid to help the team catch up on two days of lost running on its second car, which came to a halt just as the chequered flag came out.

Having been the benchmark in terms of laps completed all week, Nelson Piquet brought out two red flags when his Jaguar stopped on track with a cooling pump issue in the morning, then a software issue in the afternoon.

Jerome d’Ambrosio stopped his Mahindra at Turn 8 with an undiagnosed issue, with Max Gunther’s Dragon parked on the exit of Turn 4 simultaneously, also bringing out a red flag.

Gunther set the fifth quickest time of the day in his quest for a race seat at Dragon, ahead of Virgin’s Robin Frijns who set the most laps with 91 on the board.

Felipe Massa caused the final stoppage when a suspected inverter issue stopped his Venturi at Turn 5 with half an hour of running remaining.

It is believed to be the same inverter issue that side-lined his team-mate Edoardo Mortara for the entirety of the afternoon session.

Piquet and Andre Lotterer spent the afternoon focusing on long runs, clocking 84 and 89 laps respectively. Antonio Felix da Costa, who topped the wet morning session, completed only 16 laps in the afternoon after a systems check was required on his car.

Jose Maria Lopez did not run in the afternoon to hand his car to Formula 2 racer Antonio Fuoco. Although Dragon ran him and Gunther side-by-side for the session, Fuoco is believed to only be on loan from Ferrari for this test.

Pre-Season Test Day Three Combined Times

  1. Alexander Sims BMW Andretti 1:17.402 (78 laps)
  2. Jean-Eric Vergne DS Techeetah 1:17.620 (68 laps)
  3. Mitch Evans Jaguar 1:17.864 (80 laps)
  4. Pascal Wehrlein Mahindra 1:17.888 (68 laps)
  5. Max Gunther Dragon 1:17.947 (72 laps)
  6. Robin Frijns Envision Virgin Racing 1:18.088 (91 laps)
  7. Gary Paffett HWA Racelab 1:18.164 (53 laps)
  8. Sam Bird Envision Virgin Racing 1:18.219 (74 laps)
  9. Sebastien Buemi Nissan e.dams 1:18.220 (71 laps)
  10. Lucas di Grassi Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:18.269 (86 laps)
  11. Antonio Fuoco Dragon 1:18.284 (35 laps)
  12. Jerome d’Ambrosio Mahindra 1:18.409 (57 laps)
  13. Daniel Abt Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler 1:18.479 (66 laps)
  14. Tom Dillmann NIO 1:18.778 (68 laps)
  15. Oliver Turvey NIO 1:19.083 (63 laps)
  16. Felipe Massa Venturi 1:19.328 (69 laps)
  17. Daniel Juncadella HWA Racelab 1:19.353 (71 laps)
  18. Oliver Rowland Nissan e.dams 1:20.416 (85 laps)
  19. Nelson Piquet Jaguar 1:21.997 (84 laps)
  20. Andre Lotterer DS Techeetah 1:23.048 (89 laps)
  21. Antonio Felix da Costa BMW Andretti 1:23.121 (45 laps)
  22. Jose Maria Lopez Dragon 1:26.872 (35 laps)
  23. Edoardo Mortara Venturi 1:29.024 (21 laps)

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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